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Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 (New Living Translation)

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1 A good reputation is more valuable than the most expensive perfume. In the same way, the day you die is better than the day you are born. 2 It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. 4 A wise person thinks much about death, while the fool thinks only about having a good time now. 5 It is better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool! 6 Indeed, a fool's laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless. 7 Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart. 8 Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. 9 Don't be quick-tempered, for anger is the friend of fools. 10 Don't long for "the good old days," for you don't know whether they were any better than today. 11 Being wise is as good as being rich; in fact, it is better. 12 Wisdom or money can get you almost anything, but it's important to know that only wisdom can save your life. 13 Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Don't fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked? 14 Enjoy prosperity while you can. But when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. That way you will realize that nothing is certain in this life.
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